Putting on the New Self: Ephesians‬ ‭4‬:‭20‬-‭24‬ Freedom Quest Two
“20) But you did not learn Christ in this way, 21) if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus, 22) that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, 23)and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24) and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.” Ephesians‬ ‭4‬:‭20‬-‭24‬
Over the next several weeks, I am going to invite you on a journey called “Freedom Quest Two.” The first workshop called “Freedom Quest” was hammered out here during these devotional posts several years ago. It does a phenomenal job of freeing people from a past life of sin and bondage, but it is not complete. It is only part of the journey. Jesus Christ wants to set us free so He can fill us up.
This principle is seen throughout the whole Bible. God brought the Children of Israel out of bondage to Egypt so He could bring them into the Promised Land. They wandered in the wilderness for forty years because they refused to go in and take possession of the Promised Land. Many Christians are doing the same today. They are content with only part of the journey.
Over the next few days we are going to look at several biblical texts that point to leaving a life of sin in the flesh and then entering a new life in the Spirit. Then we will dive into the deeper water of entering the Promised Land God promised us in His Spirit. (See Acts 1:4-5) Be prepared for a significant learning and growing experience in the Word of God. But first, let’s lay some important ground work in the Word of God.
In the above context, Paul talked about “laying aside the old self which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit.” (Vs 22) During Freedom Quest One we learned about the Ten Steps to Freedom and how to pull down seven basic strongholds. These are: 1) Deception, 2) Rebellion, 3) Anger and Bitterness, 4) Sexual Immorality, 5) Chemical and Stimulant Abuse, 6) Pride and Greed and 7) Spiritism and the Occult. (Paul deals with these seven strongholds in Ephesians 4-6) This section of the Freedom Quest Workshop related to “Putting Off The Old Self.”
But the text in Ephesians 4:22-24 does not stop there. It includes being renewed in the spirit of your mind. This step involves putting on the mind of Christ through the Word of God.
If you know my story, I used Scripture memorization and meditation on Gods Word to accomplish this in my life as a new Christian. Psalm 1:1-6 became my personal road map. Looking back, this daily discipline jump-started my walk with God.
But then in Ephesians 4:24 Paul says something astounding. Listen to this amazing verse; “24) and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.” Wow! What does that mean?
In Freedom Quest One, we learned that the plans and purposes of Satan are always advanced by deception. He uses lies and deception to keep Christians in sinful bondage and defeat. But Jesus promised in John 8:31-32 that “…if you abide in my word, then you are truly disciples of mine; and you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.”
During Freedom Quest One, we learned the amazing power of “Truth Encounter.” It is not only the basis for freedom from sin and bondage, it is also the vehicle used to drive us into our new life “in Christ.” The Holy Spirit uses the Word of God to help us put on the new self.
Don’t wander in the wilderness. Use Truth Encounter to put on your new life in Christ. This is an intensional and active call for every believer. In fact, Ephesians 4:24 carries the weight of a command. This “new self” transforms us into the likeness of God! It results in practical righteousness and holiness. During this stage the Holy Spirit radically changes us. (Be ready and willing to change!)
Let me summarize what we have learned thus far. Freedom Quest One was about leaving the slavery of Egypt. It was about “putting off the old self.” But we must not stop there.
Freedom Quest Two is about entering the Promised Land. It is about “Putting On The New Self” which conforms us to the likeness of God in practical righteousness and holiness. It ushers us into the walk in the Spirit and the power of God.
You may need to go back and review the many principles taught in the Freedom Quest Workbook. These are foundational truths. They teach you the essentials of dealing with the world, the flesh and the devil. They explain the basics of spiritual warfare. You may want to attend a Freedom Quest Workshop to nail down this essential material.
But now let’s move forward. Let’s fix our focus on the conquest of the Promised Land. Let’s discover how to “Put on our New Self in Christ.” (Also study Colossians 3:8-11)
Buckle your seat belts, over the next several weeks we are going to learn many precious and magnificent promises from the Word of God. Some of these concepts will be new and might stretch you. That’s ok. Keep your Bible close and study the Word as we move forward. The Holy Spirit will guide you.
The Promised Land for those “in Christ” is huge, magnificent and glorious. Yet, it is accessible here and now in this present life through His Spirit! There is no end to its breadth and length and height and depth. (Ephesians 3:18) God invites us to open His Word and explore the full scope of this Promised Land. Get ready for an amazing journey!
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global